HONOLULU (KHON2) — On Friday night, the Waikiki sky will explode with fireworks as several other events will take place as people say, ‘Farewell’ to 2021. But some celebrations have been canceled in light of the surge in COVID cases, and officials are urging everyone to celebrate responsibly.
Thousands of people have already toasted and will toast to the new year at big events full of fireworks and comedy.
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“People want to come and have a good time, and they want to know that they’re going to be safe,” explained Rick Bartalini, president of Rick Bartalini Presents.
Comedian Bill Maher is back for his 10th annual New Year’s Eve show after missing 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bartalini, the show’s promoter, said they are enforcing strict vaccination, testing and mask protocols. Their Maui show on Thursday, Dec. 30, was a success.
The Waikiki fireworks show is also a go for Friday, Dec. 31, but other events have been canceled.
Mystical Sounds Production owner Joe Ho said the Marriott Waikiki was planning a really big event.
“We spent almost two weeks planning the event, and it would have been one of the biggest parties in Waikiki,” Ho said. “But we saw the numbers creeping up and sure enough, Marriott International — their corporate headquarters — said we’re going to cancel all New Year’s Eve events across the board.”
The Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Eric Hammond is also urging everyone to be safe, especially if they are popping fireworks.
First, Hammond said people should clear debris from the area before they start; have a hose or bucket of water handy and always light fireworks away from the body.
“You can still have fun, and enjoy the New Year’s Eve while still being safe,” Hammond continued.
He said it is best to keep kids away from the fireworks and to have a designated person who is not drinking to light them.
“Have a designated lighter, you know, somebody who’s in charge of fireworks,” Hammond explained.
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Finally, at the end of the night, he suggested putting all the fireworks that did not pop in a bucket of water in order to let them soak.